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2013 | 89 min | R | 1.85:1



1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

User reviews

1 user review

Movie appeal

Psychological thriller3%



Theatrical release date

 10 May, 2013
 16 August, 2013

Country of origin

 United States

Box office




Overview Preview Cast & crew User reviews News Forum

Screenshots from Aftershock Blu-ray

Aftershock Preview  

 / 10
Preview by Brian Orndorf, May 12, 2013

“Aftershock” is a strange disaster film that desires to merge broad comedy with utter depravity, looking to concoct a pungent brew of exploitation for those who’ve developed a taste for such bitter screen insanity. Unfortunately, the feature is lopsided, unfunny, and needlessly aggressive, or, in other words, it was co-written by Eli Roth, the horror player behind the “Hostel” series and “Cabin Fever.” Though Nicolas Lopez is credited as co-screenwriter and director of “Aftershock,” the picture bears all the birth defects of a Roth endeavor, including wild tonal swings, cruel violence toward women, and an overly jokey introduction. Although it hopes to depict the utter downfall of man in the face of a natural disaster, it’s mostly obnoxious and forgettable.

On a trip through Chile to take in tourist destinations and prowl the nightclubs, Gringo (Eli Roth), Ariel (Ariel Levy), and Pollo (Nicolas Martinez) are having a ball soaking up the local culture while their real lives are on hold. Things are looking up for the trio when they meet up with Irina (Natasha Yarovenko), Kylie (Lorenza Izzo), and skittish Monica (Andrea Osvart), hoping to sweet talk the ladies into a long night of partying in the restless city of Valparaiso. However, the festivities are cut short when a massive earthquake reduces everything to rubble, resulting in mass death and the unleashing of violent prison inmates, who storm the city looking to rape and pillage. On the run, the group hopes to escape any additional threats, only to find their way to safety destroyed, marauders stalking the streets, and a tsunami forming, ready to wash away those unlucky enough to be alive.

For the impatient, a warning: “Aftershock” eats up 35 minutes of screentime before the earthquake hits. Keep in mind the picture only runs 88 minutes, and eight of those are set aside for incredibly tedious opening titles and elongated closing credits. That doesn’t leave much time for Lopez to capture the enormity of the disaster, especially when the script (also credited to Guillermo Amoedo) is consumed with spending the entire first act getting to know the male characters, surveying their neuroses, their failure to attract the interest of the opposite sex, and their manipulation of a woman with a Wu-Tang Clan tramp stamp tattoo. Yet, even with all the work put into introductions and insipid banter (there’s a drinking game in how many times Gringo points out his Judaism), there remains a question of likability, an important quality in short supply around “Aftershock.”

Trying to come off playful, the feature instead grates immensely, with amateur acting hindering the development of personality in the movie’s early moments, struggling to get the audience behind the South American misadventures of a trio of dopes trying to get drunk and laid in an exotic city (though it’s eventually flattened, Chile looks absolutely lovely in the daylight). Gringo has a kid, Ariel has ex-girlfriend troubles, and who really cares about any of these people and their contrived concerns. Lopez doesn’t soften the material enough to generate human characters worthy of interest, wasting 35 long minutes of mischief on personalities who are rude, crude, and generally allergic to interesting qualities. These are just unpleasant people with painfully superficial worries. You just might find yourself rooting for the earthquake to win out in the end.

And for those who enjoy cinematic non sequiturs, Selena Gomez pops in for a cameo as a club girl disinterested in Gringo’s flirtations. Why Gomez? I wish I knew. If you’re planning to see “Aftershock” due to her participation, I’m sorry to report that she only hangs around for one minute.

When disaster finally strikes after roughly three years of screentime, “Aftershock” goes from lighthearted to angry, ordering up gruesome deaths for a majority of the cast, with victims squished under chunks of falling concrete or bashed around during careless escape attempts. It’s a gory, violent film, and there’s a pronounced darkness with the addition of the prison escapees, who stalk the streets looking to cause destruction, eventually raping one of the female characters. For a movie that puts Eli Roth in a lead acting role, it’s brave of “Aftershock” to suddenly take itself so seriously, hoping to rattle viewers with a serving of real-world horror. It’s repellent stuff, though I’d be more inclined to absorb the whole mother nature/human nature contrast of evil in a more sophisticated picture. “Aftershock” is simply too slight to make the leap.

Without tonal consistency, decent actors, and a meaningful script, “Aftershock” is left in a panic, frantically trying to upset its audience instead of engage them. It’s bottom-shelf schlock with a weird carelessness about it that’s disappointing and ultimately tiring.

Starring: Eli Roth, Andrea Osvárt, Ariel Levy, Natasha Yarovenko, Selena Gómez, Lorenza Izzo
Director: Nicolás López

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Aftershock, Forum Discussions

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Aftershock - Eli Roth 16 May 23, 2013

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